Protecting the privacy of the people featured in your videos can be important and in some situations, it may even protect their safety. Blurring the faces of the people in your videos is the most common way of protecting and concealing their true identity.
In this article, we will show you how to blur faces on moving and stationary subjects with Adobe Premiere Elements and we will also provide you with a tip for an alternative software that doesn't require as much time and effort to produce this effect.
Part 1: How to Blur a Face With Adobe Premiere Elements
Blurring a face with Premier Elements requires some previous knowledge of this editing software as well as the understanding of the concept of keyframes. Let’s first have a look at the steps you'll need to take in order to blur a face on a still subject.
Section 1.How to Blur a Face in Premiere Elements
After you added the video clip to the 'Project Assets' folder, drag the clip to the timeline and make sure that the software is in the Expert mode. Right-click on the video clip, select the 'Effects mask' option from the drop-down menu, then click on the 'Apply' feature in the sub-menu. A rectangle will appear in the preview window, drag it over to the face you would like to blur and adjust the rectangle's size by dragging one of its corners so it covers an entire face.
After applying the 'Effects mask' you will see that a new video clip or the so-called 'Adjustment Layer' is now positioned over the original clip in the second video track. Click on 'Effects' button on the Action bar and look for blur effects such as ''Zoom Blur', 'Gaussian Blur' or 'Fast Blur', and drag and drop the Gaussian Blur to the original video clip.
Click on the 'Applied Effects' button to adjust the' Gaussian Blur' effect settings and increase the 'Blurriness' as much as necessary to blur the face. If the amount of 'Blurriness' provided by the slider isn't enough to cover the face, increase the 'Blurriness' value on the number located above the slider. You can also use the 'Mosaic' effect equally effectively because all you need to do in order to apply it is to go to the 'Effects' tab and drag and drop it to the original clip. Afterwards, click on the 'Applied Effects' panel and adjust 'Horizontal Blocks' and 'Vertical Blocks' values so that the face covered by the mask cannot be recognized.
Section 2.How to Blur a Face in Motion with Premiere Elements
People in videos are rarely perfectly still, which means that the 'Mask Effect' you just applied will only work for a single on-screen position. Once the person moves, it will go out of the blurred area of the frame and the face will become visible once again. In order to avoid this, you need to head back to the 'Applied Effects' panel and click on the 'Show/Hide keyframe controls' icon located on the top of the panel.
In the next step, you need to click on the 'Toggle Animation' icon, which looks like a small blue stopwatch located at right corner of the 'Mask' effect and then extend the 'Mask' effect so you can see the effect settings. These actions will enable you to see four keyframes on the keyframe timeline, each keyframe represents a corner of the preview window. Next, to the Keyframe timeline you will be able to see 'Top Left', 'Top Right', 'Bottom Left' and 'Bottom Right' options and located next to it you'll be able to see 'Add/Remove Keyframes' button.
Place the playhead at the beginning of the video and add keyframes on each of the four corners of the video by clicking on the 'Add/Remove Keyframes' button. Afterwards, you need to find the position on the timeline where the face leaves the 'Effects Mask' you already applied and set four keyframes at that position. Four more keyframes should be added at the position where the object's on-screen movement ends, and then you need to right-click on the original video clip, go to the 'Effects Mask' and select edit. Once more you will be able to see a rectangle on the preview screen, adjust its position and move the mask to the position at which the object's movement ends. You can repeat this process if the subject in your video changes the on-screen position more than once in order to make sure that its face stays covered throughout the video.
Part 2: An Easier Way to Blur a Face in a Video with Filmora
The process we just described can hardly be called simple or easy, even though experienced video editors shouldn't have any difficulty applying it. Wondershare Filmora video editing software offers a simpler and faster way to blur faces in your videos.
Method 1: Mosaic
Place the footage you would like to edit onto Filmora's timeline and right-click on it, and then select the 'Power Tool' option. The 'Power Tool' window will appear on the screen and you'll be able to choose from several different options. If you are working with a clip in which your subject is perfectly still select the 'Mosaic' option and check the 'Apply Mosaic to the Clip' checkbox. Once you've performed this action a rectangle will appear in the preview window, drag it to the desired location on the screen and adjust its size so it perfectly covers the face you want to conceal. On the 'percent' slider adjust the size of the mosaic tiles, click play to preview the video then click 'OK' and continue editing your video.
Method 2: Face off
If you are working with a video clip that features a subject that moves a lot, Filmora offers a perfect solution in the form of 'Face Off' feature. In the 'Power Tool' window, select the 'Face Off' feature and check the 'Apply Face Off to the clip' checkbox. The feature will automatically track the subject's movement and blur its face. You can choose from a number of different goofy 'Face Off' options, but if you are creating a video for more serious purposes, select the first option offered by the editor, that resembles the Mosaic effect.
Liza Brown is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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